Lee College joining effort to help youth beat summer learning loss & prepare for fall

Mobile Go Center set to visit Roseland Park and Stratford Branch Library for July 13 event

Proclamation on Summer Learning Day
Baytown Mayor Stephen DonCarlos (center) presents a proclamation naming July 13, 2017, as Summer Learning Day to Lee College administrators and faculty at city hall. The college is partnering with Academic Beginnings for Children for Summer Learning Day to raise awareness of the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy over the summer so they can return to school in the fall ready to succeed. Also pictured, from left: DeDe Griffith, Director of Access and Student Success; Treva Brown-Askey, chairwoman of the Developmental Education Division; Donna Mohlman, Special Projects Librarian and co-chairwoman of Academic Beginnings for Children; and Dr. Christina Ponce, Executive Vice President and member of the Kiwanis Club of Baytown.

BAYTOWN, TX — Lee College is working in the community to help local youth beat the damaging “summer slide”: the phenomenon where young people, often low-income, lose academic skills during summer vacation and fall behind their peers by the time the new school year begins.

The college is participating in National Summer Learning Day on July 13 in partnership with Academic Beginnings for Children (ABC), a broad-based coalition of education, civic, business and non-profit organizations working together to deliver the best solutions for children. The annual event is sponsored by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) to raise awareness of the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy over the summer to ensure they return to school in the fall ready to succeed.

On Summer Learning Day, the Lee College Mobile Go Center will be posted at Roseland Park in Baytown from 10-11 a.m., and the Stratford Branch Library in Highlands from 2-4 p.m. Students and families who climb aboard the center — a 42-foot, air-conditioned trailer equipped with high-speed Internet and other state-of-the-art technology — can enjoy e-books provided through a grant from the Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Foundation, and receive information about preparing for college. Children can also take a free paperback book home with them to read this summer, thanks to a $400 donation from the Kiwanis Club of Baytown, and participate in arts and crafts and other activities.

Lee College Mobile Go Center
Lee College Mobile Go Center

The Mobile Go Center will also be on hand throughout July and August at select locations where the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (GCCISD) serves free breakfast and lunch to children 1-18 years old. In addition to losing access to nutritious meals, the NSLA estimates that low-income youth lose two to three months in reading and math skills over the summer while their higher-income classmates tend to make slight gains. By fifth grade, those reading and math losses can leave low-income students two to three years behind their peers in school.

“Reading builds better brains. Providing opportunities for children to read during the summer helps build those connections in the brain,” said Donna Mohlman, special projects librarian for Lee College and co-chairwoman for ABC. “By partnering with the GCCISD Summer Meals Program, we are providing food for the body and food for the mind.”

For more information about National Summer Learning Day, ABC programs in the community or other summer meals events, contact Mohlman at dmmohlman@gmail.com. To learn more about the Lee College Mobile Go Center, which is available to come to various venues to assist potential students with higher education and workforce activities, visit www.lee.edu/bearebel.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Lee joins GGCCISD in dedicating new early college high school building

impact-building.JPG
Lee College Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown offers congratulations to the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent District at the Nov. 10, 2015, dedication ceremony for the new IMPACT Early College High School building. IMPACT students complete a rigorous program that gives them the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and two years of college credit simultaneously.

BAYTOWN, TX – Lee College administrators and faculty joined the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (GCCISD) this month for the dedication of the new building for IMPACT Early College High School, where students are able to earn a high school diploma and two years of college credit simultaneously.

“We are true community partners: Goose Creek and Lee College have the same dream and vision,” Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown said during the dedication ceremony, held Nov. 10 in the high school cafeteria.

Operated by GCCISD, IMPACT first opened in 2010 in the Advanced Technology Center at Lee College and was also housed temporarily at the Peter E. Hyland Center. Now located on Market Street, the new building was ready by the start of the 2015-16 school year. The college campus is only a short walk away and easily accessible via a path constructed across Baytown’s Bicentennial Park.

The first IMPACT graduates received their diplomas in 2014, with about half of the 89 members of the class also receiving one or more associate degrees. The Class of 2016 includes 92 students, of which 60 are expected to earn both a diploma and an associate degree in May. Lee College waives the students’ tuition and GCCISD provides their textbooks.

“It’s not the building that makes the child or the education; it’s what happens inside. It is the magic happening here and across the street,” Brown said. “Students in IMPACT Early College High School are getting a superior education, both for their high school diploma and their Lee College degree.”

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby Liberty, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 13 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

NOTE: A video about the dedication event is available online at http://www.lee.edu/leetv/impact-early-college-high-school-building-dedication-2015/

 

First IMPACT Early College High School class to graduate

When IMPACT Early College High School opened its doors on the Lee College campus, no one was sure exactly what to expect — not even the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (GCCISD) eighth-graders who applied for admission, intrigued by the opportunity to earn a high-school diploma and two years of college credit simultaneously.

Four years later, those first students are now IMPACT seniors preparing for graduation. In addition to their diplomas, about half of the 89 members of the class of 2014 will also receive associate’s degrees Saturday, May 10, at Lee College commencement in the Sports Arena.

“This is our home. We built this. We were the pioneers,” said Azalia Sprecher, a senior who has earned three associate’s degrees from Lee College while attending IMPACT, which is operated by the GCCISD and currently located in the college Advanced Technology Center. “We hope that we’ve done enough to pass the baton to the underclassmen.”

IMPACT principal Jacquelyn Narro certainly thinks so, noting the seniors are largely self-motivated and dedicated students who have proven their ability to accomplish lofty goals. Reaching this milestone with the first graduating class speaks to the student-centered commitment shared by Goose Creek and Lee College, she said.

“They leave having had a true college experience, so that the university setting will not be a novelty to them,” Narro said. “They are also now more workforce-ready and eligible for higher-paying jobs than the average high-school graduate. It changes their earning potential and all the possibilities for their future.”

Moving forward, Narro plans to continue building enrollment at IMPACT and sharpen the focus on first-generation college students who might not otherwise have the means or opportunity to pursue a degree. Lee College waives the students’ tuition and GCCISD provides their textbooks.

The daughter of immigrants and a first-generation college student herself, Sprecher will study biochemistry at Bryn Mawr College on a full-tuition scholarship from the Posse Foundation, one of the most renowned college access and youth leadership development programs in the country.

Though excited to begin her next chapter in Pennsylvania, Sprecher said it won’t be easy to leave behind the teachers and administrators who pushed her to discover her talents — or the IMPACT classmates who became more like brothers and sisters as they encouraged each other through the rigors of balancing both high school and collegiate coursework.

“A friend in one of my college courses is a single mother, and she tells her 10-year-old son that she wants him to be a great student like me,” Sprecher said. “That really makes me feel good. IMPACT was the ultimate challenge and I wanted to go after it. These past four years have been really rewarding and all the hard work has been worth it.”